PEN Distinguished Lecture Series

The PEN Distinguished Lecture Series in Educational Neuroscience was created in association with the Foundations Proseminar course for graduate students in the Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) program. Since its inception, the series has grown!

The lecture series focuses on the intersection of the Science of Learning (learning across the lifespan) and Educational Neuroscience (learning across early life). Scientists and researchers who are pioneers in the fields of Cognitive-Educational Neuroscience, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Child Development come to Gallaudet University's campus to talk about their research.

Register for Upcoming Lectures

All lectures are open to the public and are video recorded for online distribution.

PEN DLS brochure for 2023-2024

Exploring the Role of Visual Language Skills in Reading Development in Deaf Children

Thursday, 08 February 2024
PEN DLS Series 2023-2024
Dr. Mairead MacSweeney

Dr. Mairead MacSweeney

Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University College London


For more details or materials about this presentation, please contact the presenter at


For PEN or Graduate students at Gallaudet, please contact PEN Director



Dr. MacSweeney is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London (UCL). She is also the leader of the Visual Communication Research Group at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She uses both behavioral and neuroimaging approaches with deaf adults and children to understand further how sign language, reading, and visual speech (lipreading) are processed. Her current research explores how these inputs are represented in the brain and how similar (or not) these representations are to each other. She is particularly interested in how visual language inputs support reading development in young deaf children.


The PEN Distinguished Lecture Series in Educational Neuroscience honors researchers who have changed the landscape of science. We invite them to share their discoveries as we forge new links across research communities within Gallaudet University, Washington D.C., and the world.


To view this year's and all previous presentations, please visit VL2's PEN Distinguished Lectures webpage.